A CHARITY bringing cycling to children in Southampton has started work on a new BMX track.

Monty's Bike Hub in Bitterne is working to create an area for children to "have fun and cycle safely."

The pump track offers children in the area a chance to develop their cycling skills on small hills, jumps, twists and turns.

The project was funded by Southampton City Council and Monty's Bike Hub as part of three pump tracks across the city.

Construction started at the end of last month and should be completed by the beginning of next year.

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Daily Echo: Monty's bike hub teamMonty's bike hub team (Image: Hannah De Boltz, Newsquest)

The team of volunteers at the charity offer affordable second-hand bikes, and teaches children to ride and maintain a bike.

Josh Allen from the charity says that they see more than 20 children each week coming to learn and cycle.

He said: "We are always pushing to do better. We moved to a new location that's bigger to have more kids come in and help them.

"The pump track will give these kids a space to cycle.

"In our area, we have so many main roads that really there's very little for these kids to cycle in a safe way.

"At the moment the pump track looks a bit crazy and we have had some objections by residents but overall it's been a really positive thing.

"When it's done there will be grass all over the park again and there are plans to actually put wildflowers around it. 

"It is to stop anti-social behaviour by giving these kids something to do and we've seen in our work that this is how to do it so we are really excited."

Daily Echo: AJ HooperAJ Hooper (Image: Hannah De Boltz, Newsquest)

AJ Hooper, who joined the charity in 2017, said he "really enjoys" everything he does for the community.

The 16-year-old said: "I have a massive passion for this. I started in school and now I go here on Thursdays after college.

"I have learned to fix bikes and I like it. It helps people and I am really looking forward to having a go on the new pump track when it's done.

"It is for everyone here and it was thought up by everyone here so it's really cool to see it actually happening."

The charity is open for adults on Wednesdays from 5pm to 8pm, and for children on Thursdays from 3pm to 5pm.

Pete Boustred, Head of Green City and Infrastructure at Southampton City Council said: "The pump track on Sullivan Road is a community-initiated idea that will be a place for all ages to meet and enjoy a fun, but challenging workout. 

"It has been designed in such a way that it is suitable for the smallest of residents on their balance bikes, right up to skilled riders. 

"The pump track will support our UNICEF Child-Friendly city goals offering not only the track, but also giving young people, their families and the local community a place to walk, sit and rest amongst the newly planted trees and wildflower areas."

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